What Types of Employment Agencies Are There?

Types of Employment Agencies

Finding work in today’s competitive job market can be a daunting prospect for the best of us. At times, it may even seem overwhelming. Thankfully, however, there is help out there for those who might need it.

Employment agencies, or staffing agencies, work to match job-seekers to prospective employers. There are, however, a few different types of staffing agencies, and it’s important to ask yourself a few questions before deciding which kind would be most suitable for you. For example, how would you describe your level of experience in your field of work? Are you looking to work locally, or are you open to the prospect of relocating? What expertise and skills can you bring to the table? Would part-time or temp-to-hire work suit you? Your answers to these questions will determine which kind of employment agency you should approach.

This article will explain four different types of staffing agencies: traditional employment agencies, contingency employment agencies, retained/executive search firms, and temporary agencies. With this knowledge, you will be better placed to find the right employment agency, and you can make your first steps down the path to exciting new career opportunities.

Traditional Employment Agency

Traditional staffing agencies fulfill two roles: firstly, they help job hunters find employment; and secondly, they assist businesses in bringing on-board employees. Most traditional employment agencies are geared towards specific lines of work, specializing in anything from sports to accounting, so it’s worth having a look around to see if you can find one suitable for your field of interest.

Some employment agencies do request payment from the candidate for their assistance. This is becoming more and more uncommon, but it’s still worth checking with the agency whether or not you will be charged before any contractual agreements are made. However, most traditional employment agencies are contracted by employers themselves, meaning they will receive and consider your resume for free.

Contingency Employment Agency

Contingency agencies only receive payment once the candidate has been recruited. As with traditional employment agencies, some contingency agencies charge the candidate themselves, so it’s worth checking beforehand whether you or the employer will have to cover the cost of their services. 

As with traditional employment agencies, some contingency agencies specialize in particular industries. They work quickly to deliver a significant number of candidates to the employer; thus, they are good choices for job seekers looking for a fast, proactive agency. 

Retained Search Firm / Executive Search Firm

As the name might suggest, an exclusive or retained search firm is one hired on a retainer by a specific company. Also known as “headhunters,” these employment agencies identify and approach the most suitable candidates for executive and senior positions at their employer’s business. Often this involves persuading candidates to leave their current job to take up a new one with the employer’s company. Whether or not the candidate in question is hired, these firms receive a commission.

Executive search firms are expected to present only the very best candidates for the job, the cream of the crop. As such, they are quite rigorous in their assessment of the applications they are sent and are highly selective. 

Temporary (Temp) Agency

Temporary agencies, otherwise known as “temp” agencies, source candidates for temporary jobs. Temporary workers may be hired for seasonal positions or to stand in for staff members who are sick or on holiday. These agencies may look to hire these workers on a retainer, putting them forward for temp jobs that might become available. In this instance, it is these agencies themselves who act as employers for their workers.

Increasingly, however, temp agencies look to find workers for “temp to perm” jobs, allowing opportunities for temporary employees to move into permanent roles at their place of work, thereby ending their working relationship with the agency.

If you’re looking for work that allows for a certain degree of flexibility or seeking to gain a wider variety of skills and experiences—something that will certainly make your resume more appealing—then a temporary agency might be a good option for you. 

Learn More With Talenteria

Understanding the various types of staffing agencies is crucial to deciding on the best for you and your needs. However, it is also essential to make sure that you don’t make the mistake of leaning too heavily on recruiters and neglecting other job search options available to you. Keep an eye on job search sites for eye-catching opportunities, and try to make sure your network, too—get yourself out there!

For more insights, tips, and advice on all recruitment processes, check out our other posts from our experts at Talenteria.